Hawaii island mayor honored for keeping community safe

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Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim received a special honor Thursday.

He was named a Homeland Heroes Mission Awardee by the Government Technology & Services Coalition’s Homeland Security Today for his ongoing efforts during Kilauea’s latest eruption.

“Mayor Harry Kim, the mayor of Hawaii County, Hawaii, was awarded for his leadership in the wake of the life-threatening Kilauea volcano eruption in August. While there are many deserving of this recognition, few others have had to deal with a nuclear ballistic missile threat, a devastating earthquake, a volcanic eruption, tropical storms, hurricanes, flooding and carbon monoxide poisoning — while struggling though mild heart attacks and pneumonia. He continued to work throughout the eruption, which caused 24 injuries and $800 million in damages, while life-threatening emergencies occurred all around him.”

Kim says the honor is a tribute not just to the county, but to the state and the national guard, and to all who came together to support the island. 

“We do our job, but goodness. I know how hard it was for them, and I wish I could take the award and split it up in a thousand ways and give each one a piece,” Kim told KHON2. “The way this community came together, you just go wow, thank you. That’s Hawaii and I’m lucky enough to live here and damn well lucky to be mayor for them.”

The GTSC is a nonprofit, non-partisan association of small- and midsized-company CEOs who develop and implement solutions for the homeland and national security sector.

The award recipients will be honored at the GTSC’s annual event on Dec. 11 in Arlington.

County officials say other commitments prevent the mayor from attending.

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